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5 Tips for shopping in your own closet

You stare hopelessly at the sea of clothes in your closet, convinced that you have absolutely nothing to wear. The result? A “much-needed” shopping spree that you don’t really need.

Woman putting on necklace

Instead, try shopping in your own closet to rejuvenate your old wardrobe for a new look.

Recombine, re-wear, remake

Recombining clothes to remake an outfit may seem impossible at times. But creating a new look out of your existing wardrobe is not only easy, but also fun and fashionable. The trick to re-wearing clothing is putting together a variety of outfits, all with a different style, yet still using the same pieces. Your little black dress, for example, is not just restricted to a cocktail party. Toss a blazer over it and wear it out to dinner. Dress it down with a pair of fun flats and a bold belt for a day at the mall, or throw on a pair of tights and boots for a trendier look. The options are infinite.

Not old — vintage

Whoever said chambray shirts, jean jackets and jean vests would go out of style? It sounds like we all did. So what does it tell you that these denim pieces have made their way back into today’s fashion? Old is new. Incorporating old-school style into your updated look is easy. Take the denim shirt that you swore you’d never wear again, pair it with white skinny jeans and create a fashion statement. The trick is to always mix old pieces with current and trendy pieces.

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pop of color shoesIf the shoe fits

Not all of us can have the endless, shoe-filled closet of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. But we can dream, right? gives us eight staple shoes you must have in your closet: nude pumps, black stilettos, closed-toe black kitten heels, a pair of wedges, metallic strappy sandals, flip-flops, shoes that add a pop of color and a pair of sneakers.

The shoes you choose to wear can completely change the look of something as ordinary as jeans. Wear sneakers with your jeans rolled up one day, flip-flops with your jeans rolled down the next and nude pumps to totally rev it up for the evening. Pairing your favorite sundress with flip-flops for a lunch date and then creating a new look with wedges for a summer dinner party is a quick and easy way to switch up your look. Varying the style of shoe for any given piece or outfit multiplies your options and creates a new, hip look each time.

Snap, crackle, pop

Like shoes, accessories can have a major effect on an outfit. The jewelry, scarves, belts and hats in your closet can vamp up any dull outfit. While we all wonder why Kim Kardashian is so famous, we have to admit that she is a pro at adorning her outfits with big earrings, lavish cocktail rings and bold scarves. Her brave style illustrates the way accessorizing changes your look.

A large signature piece of jewelry is one of the easiest ways to remake your outfit. For instance, accessorize your little black dress by adding a bold centerpiece necklace or big earrings. A fun, funky scarf can bolster and change your look; wear one with a white shirt and jeans to add freshness and zest to a classic look. Belts are a necessity not only for jeans but also for cinching up your dresses, sweaters or skirts. The secret to accessories is to add just a little pop of something bright and new to rev up your staple outfits.

Mix & match

Not playing by the typical fashion rules can be fun. Wearing stripes with polka dots used to be a fashion kiss of death but after seeing Michael Kors’ 2012 spring line, it’s obvious that mixing patterns is on the cutting edge. According to style agents Janette Ewen and Afiya Francisco, incorporating patterns is a must in your wardrobe. But they do have a few rules. First, partner a hard pattern (think of graphics with sharp edges, like stripes or checks) with something softer (organic shapes like circles and florals work best). Second, when mixing patterns, don’t bring in too much color — it can look out of control. Last, avoid dizzy patterns (swirls and zigzags) altogether — they look tacky.

A fun, flirty, polka-dot skirt mixes beautifully with the timeless striped shirt. Patterns add some fun and pizzazz to your wardrobe. But as these style agents advise, “Stick with neutral (i.e., safe) colors to avoid looking like a crazy person. And definitely no more than two patterns, three colors max.”

So next time you are in need of a new outfit, just open your closet and look at it with a new eyes instead.

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